Just when we think people have understood the notion that food underpins EVERYTHING when it comes to your body, we realize that so many people still treat it as secondary in their CrossFit journey.
Here’s the thing – without a clean, healthy diet it really doesn’t matter what you do in the gym or whether you come 5-6 days a week.
Even if your body isn’t showing signs of it yet, it WILL eventually catch up to you.
We all know exercise is important. It stimulates a healthy hormonal balance within the body, it builds muscle and helps the body burn fat through increased metabolism. It will also make you look better naked, and who doesn’t want that. BUT, and this is a big but [no pun intended], you can not out-train a bad diet.
Nutrition forms the foundation for pretty much all of our health – and that includes body composition. No matter how much you work out, if you are eating the wrong foods, it will be very difficult to see optimum results for either health, fitness or body composition. Eat crap and, even if you can get away with it for a few of your younger years, it will catch up to you sooner or later. Both in your body and in your health.
Focus on healthy nutrition as a priority, however, then ideal body-composition will usually follow.
Unfortunately, the standard western diet is full of foods that do not promote health and are certainly not optimum fuel sources for the body. Eating processed foods, such as wheat and sugar, promotes inflammation in the intestines, which then can, not only cause a host of health problems (such as auto-immune conditions, diabetes, bloating, joint pain etc), but will also very often lead to weight gain and body fat retention – specifically around the abdomen*.
No amount of exercise will help when this is the case. In fact, too much exercise can exacerbate things by adding more stress on the body – leading to a dis-regulation of cortisol levels, and again, often contributing to the retention of tummy fat.
So, the key here is finding a level of training that is right for your body. Preferably shorter, high-intensity workouts (such as CrossFit) rather than long periods of traditional “cardio”, and cleaning up your diet so that it is comprised mostly of whole, unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible.
If something needs a label, or can sit on a shelf for months, chances are that it’s not going to be very good for you. Pasta is NOT good for you, no matter who makes it or how good it tastes.
Want to know what to eat in a nutshell?
*Further reading: Excerpt from William Davis’s “Wheat Belly”